Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thrashwagon: Summer Successes & Failures

It's time for another Thrashwagon update. Let's call it the late-summer-it's-too-damn-hot-and-I'm-feeling-lazy update. Before I launch in I just wanted to pay my respects to Pia Maybury Lewis who passed away earlier this month at 89 years almost to the day. In the early 2000s, while I was circle-pitting by night, by day I was working for her and the human rights organization she co-founded, Cultural Survival, in Cambridge, Mass. She was as severe as she was compassionate and gave me some of my first opportunities post-college. One of my fondest memories was her straight-faced assumption that while on the road with Tear It Up in 2001, I was going to be "taking quite a lot of cocaine." You'll be missed, Pia...

Summer kicked off with a quick LA visit for a friend's wedding. The usual amount of vegan gluttony went down as my wife and I caught up with old friends. However, I was able to reconnect with another old friend outside of wedding-related taco bars, cake for brunch (why not?), and Mexican Cokes. This being the impressive Paul De'Elia.

For hours, we talked Dead Nation, Tear It Up, and Cut the Shit. Ran out of steam to make it to The Rites. Holy shit, look at the bands this guy was a part of! Equally impressive is the small army of chihuahuas that he is hoarding in his backyard. His family is great and we happily joined them for some Veggie Grill before saying goodbye and hunting down nearby vegan doughnuts from Doughnut Friend.

One trip down, one to go. The following weekend I trained it up to Boston to nail ten interviews discussing the Berwick to Think I Care to Cut the Shit to Suburban Voice to XfilesX to name a few. Read an exhaustive play-by-by here.

These two jaunts were partially mopped up with subsequent interviews with Paul, Cut the Shit's Andrew Jackmuah and Think I Care's Jason Clegg. Still on deck is a Round 2 with Chris Minicucci and a handful of Round 1s from some other Boston crew folks.

This summer also saw a few more meet-ups with Matt Wechter from, well...all the same bands mentioned above for Paul. We've been slowly grinding through his story because he "kicked around in that scene for a while," as he puts it. But I also had some time to sit down with Dave Ackerman from Dead Nation and TIU. Still have a couple more to go with him.

I tried really hard to get together a Philly trip to talk to Rambo and Gatecrashers dudes. Sadly I couldn't pull it together. Since Philly is only about 75 mins south of my house, I'm sure I'll make it down there soon rather than later.

Remember the urban legend of the actual punk band that pretended to be a clueless punk band and went on TLC for a full "punk rock makeover" ala Good Charlotte? Well that shit happened. And in July, I reunited Snakebite for the first time in years to discuss thrashcore's most legendary prank.

Most recently, I was lucky enough to catch Max Ward (aka Max 625, aka What Happens Max) before he flew off to Tokyo for the next 12 months. It was fascinating to run over his history in the fast hardcore scene from seeing early 80s HC/punk shows to his massive contributions to grindcore, power violence, thrashcore and all things fast, punk and DIY!

Finally, I've logged about 40 interviews for this project, but the other day I added up all the people and bands I'd like to connect with on the east coast (still!) plus European and West Coast contacts I want to focus on for the remainder of '15, but not yet counting Japan or parts elsewhere (like Brazil!) and was struck by the fact that I had 105 interviews left to go. 


It nearly stopped me in my tracks. So what happens next? Slog away. Hope for a brutal New Jersey winter with nothing to do but Skype folks around the world.

For those of you still reading, here is the list of bands I still need to talk to. If you are in one of them or know someone that is, drop me a line. Let's talk. DS-13, ETA, Vitamin X, Dead Stop, Reproach, Seein' Red, Bettercore, Bruce Banner, Point of Few, Highscore, FPO, Tangled Lines, Surf Nazis Must Die, Amdi Petersens Arme, Shank, Herodishonest, E-150, Das Oath, 9 Shocks Terror, Gordon Solie Motherfuckers, Limp Wrist, Runination, Punch In The Face, Scot Baio Army, Lifes Halt, Hit Me Back, Holier Than Thou, No Reply, Scholastic Deth, Knife Fight, Municipal Waste, My Revenge, They Live, Gatecrashers, Last In Line, Bones Brigade, Melee, Black SS, I Object, Crucial Unit, Rambo, 97a, Direct Control, Total Fury, LIE, Crucial Section, Flash Gordon, Jellyroll Rockheads, Breakfast, Exclaim, I Shot Cyrus, Infect, Discarga, No Violence...


  1. Seein Red
    joshoutveen at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you! Sorry for the delay in my response!

  2. Hey Ken, another great post!

    I know I´m boring, but I have already wrote you on the blog. I can help you with ex - Yugoslavian part of 2000.´s hardcore punk, I played in Vaseline Children (very influenced by Tear It Up), briefly in FPO snd some other bands and still play in hc/punk bands, so if you wanna talk, drop me an e-mail!

  3. Oh yeah, my e-mail is:

    1. Will do! Thanks a lot! I'll be in touch! Just moving very slowly! :)

    2. This is great! If you need or want to talk about this time period in the Midwest -Ohio (Columbus and Cincnnati) please let me know. The following venues were awesome during this time - The Legion of Doom, Addition 13, bands - The Awakening, Killed in Action (six weeks, 625, split with Crucial Unit), severe (625), plus a bunch of others. I have tons of pictures, and booked most shows from 99-2004 in Columbus. Whn?/life's halt, gsmf, total fury, the oath, crucial unit, 9 shocks, municipal waste, etc all came through and we had a great time. Very stoked that someone cares enough to do this, thank you!